Victor Chu Leaves Legacy to Business Development Program
A generous $100,000 gift from the estate of the late Victor Chu, Ph.D., will benefit the institute’s Business Development Certificate program.

A generous gift from the estate of the late scientist and entrepreneur Victor Chu will help top UC Davis students move their innovations out of the lab and into the world.

The $100,000 gift to the Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s Business Development Certificate program reflects Chu’s support for science and engineering education that makes a difference. The year-long program provides UC Davis science and engineering graduate and post-doctoral students with hands-on experience in developing business skills for a career in industry—and the opportunity to grow new business ventures.

Born in Shanghai, Victor Chu moved to Hong Kong in 1949. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1965 to pursue higher education first at the University of Hawaii and then at UC Davis, where he earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in food science and agricultural chemistry. His career included positions with Holly Sugar, Barnes Hind and BioRad Laboratories, as well as entrepreneurial ventures. Chu was a member of the UC Davis Chancellor’s Club and enjoyed attending Picnic Day each year with his niece, Renee Maeda, and her family.

“Dr. Chu’s generous gift will further our vital work in helping UC Davis’ most gifted science and engineering students move their ideas forward,” said Wil Agatstein, executive director of the institute. “Our donors play a critical role in helping us provide innovative education to tomorrow’s most promising entrepreneurs.”

Gifts from Chu’s estate also created the Victor Chu University Fellowship in the university’s Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry department, and support the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science Endowment and the Friends of Picnic Day Endowment.

According to his niece, Chu was a humble man who, as an immigrant, worked exceptionally hard to earn his education. He was the only scientist in his family and the only member of his family to earn a Ph.D. His legacy will make it easier for future generations of students to pursue their educational goals and passions.